Period 2 – Mock Trial Lesson Plan (5-8-2017)

Period 2 - Mock TrialTopic:

Legal Concept = Equality under the law.


Seventh Official Mock Trial Rounds

Unit S.M.A.R.T. Goal:

Students will be able to conduct to 90% 2 of 3 rounds of a mock trial with no coaching intervention.

*Unit S.M.A.R.T. Goal written with this downloadable guide -> SmartGoals Template for Educators

Today’s Objective(s):

  • Students will begin to examine the legal concept of equality under the law.

*Lesson objective written with this downloadable guide -> Writing Learning Objectives Guide

Mock Trial Google File & Resources:

Resources -> Mock Trial Google Drive Link 

Practice Objections Game -> Objection ! Your Honor !

Practice Trial Game -> MAKING YOUR CASE


Warm Up:

* No Warm Up Today*


If you never turned in your GAFE internet usage form, that was handed out during first period before break, your account is still locked out. You need to go to the front office before school, during lunch, or after school to get another copy of the form, fill it out, and send it in. You are also welcome to download, print, and send in a copy using the link below->



Task #1 (Introduction)

Step 1.Get out a piece of paper.

Step 2.Title this paper “Lincoln Conspiracy Trial”

Step 3.Answer these questions/statements:

1.Write three things you already know about the assassination of President Lincoln.

2.Write three things that you already know about society at the time of the Civil War.

3.Write three things that you already know about the Constitution.

Task #2 (Discussion Questions)

1.What is the role of the lawyer in society? The role of the soldier? The role of the politician? The role of the mother? What do they all have in common? Where do they diverge?

2.What moral obligations do politicians have to the people they represent? What other moral obligations do they have?

3.What moral obligations do lawyers have to the people they represent? What other moral obligations do they have?

4.What truth is there to the phrase “all is fair in love and war”? In what ways is this saying untrue?

5.What influence does the media have over the general population?

6.How does contemporary society react to a crisis situation (think of 9-11, the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina)? Think in terms of tactical reactions, policy responses, and personal reactions.

7.Do you agree with the statement: “In times of war, the law is silent”? Can you think of examples where this might have been true, resulting in a negative outcome? What about an example of it being true, resulting in a positive outcome?

Task #3 (Legal Quotes)

In two different paragraphs discuss what these quotes mean to you. While writing consider these questions: Why is “equality before the law” so central to our democratic ideals in the United States? Why is the idea of the “right to a fair trial” so important? What would be lost in our society if individuals were not guaranteed “equal justice under law”? What other rights are guaranteed when individuals are protected equally by the law? How are these rights related?

“‘Equal justice under law’ is not just a caption on the façade of the Supreme Court building. It is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society.”

—US Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Jr.

“Equality before the law in a true democracy is a matter of right. It cannot be a matter of charity or of favor or of grace or of discretion.”

—US Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge

Task #4 (Further Quote Discussion)

1.Do you agree with the statement “equal justice under law is one of the most inspiring ideals of our society”? Why, or why not? If not, then what would you say is one of the most inspiring ideals of American society?

2.If you could pick the 5 most important, or central, civil rights, what would they be? Explain your answer.

3.What does it mean when Justice Rutledge says that equality under law cannot be a matter of “charity, favor, grace, or discretion”? Explain.

4.Think of a time in history when equality under law might have been treated as a discretion and not a universal human right. What was society like at that time?

Task #5 (6th  Amendment)

Directions: Translate the following into modern English

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury…and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

Task #6 (Compare/Contrast)

Compare and contrast the following three documents and their concept for a free and speedy trial.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The United States Constitution